Chicago Cubs: Kyle Schwarber had a monster year
Now to a positive. Of everything that seemingly went wrong for the Cubs this year, one guy, in particular, turned things around. Kyle Schwarber was a bright spot, finishing with a career-high 38 home runs, along with a .250/.339/.531 slash line, good enough for a 2.6 WAR.
In the past three seasons, Schwarber has dramatically improved in almost every aspect. In 2017, Schwarber finished with a .333 wOBA and 103 wRC+; in 2018, those numbers jumped to .343 and 115, respectively. This year, Schwarber was even better, posting a .357 wOBA and 120 wRC+.
Concerning his strikeout rate and hard contact rate, Schwarber experienced a decrease in strikeouts as well as raised his overall hard contact rate. That number, in particular, has grown 5.6 percent since 2017.
Schwarber saw a dip in his overall fielding, yet with all of the positives, we saw offensively from the 26-year-old, it is easier to look the other way. Schwarber is not a free agent until 2022, yet Chicago may dangle him on the market after his 2019 campaign. Nevertheless, it was a favorable spot for Chicago this year.